C-Level: Chief People Officer
Capability: Training & Development
Service Offering: Leadership Development
Mastering the Seven Summits of Success
If you have the chance to meet someone who’s overcome amazing obstacles and reached incredible heights, both personally and professionally, you’re in the minority. If they’ve taken the time to share with you how they did it, you’re part of a privileged few.
Susan Ershler is one of those people who has achieved the impossible and taken the time to share with us how she did it.
Accomplishment 1: Leading a mediocre sales team to break a $300 million sales record against overwhelming odds.
Accomplishment 2: Successfully climb the highest mountain on all seven continents.
Susan shares her story and the key lessons applicable to both personal and professional achievement with audiences worldwide.
This month, her newly released book tells the whole story — a multi-year journey of persistence in the face of crushing challenges and obstacles. Her story is more than inspiring. She offers a playbook for success that can be applied to achieve any worthwhile goal.
I caught up with Susan in South Miami Beach, Florida where she presented to a few thousand business owners and professionals.
I’m honored and privileged to be able to share the key points of her powerful message.
What follows is a summary of her presentation.
Mastering the Seven Summits of Success
1. Commit to the Summit
Nothing happens without first developing a vision. Decide on what your goal will be.
Take the time to clarify and define your goal clearly. Visualize your goal. Write it down. Make a commitment to yourself that you will reach the summit of your mountain!
2. Travel Light
You don’t have time, money, energy or other resources to waste. Be disciplined to “travel light” managing your time and energy wisely. Block all important goal activities first – actually block the time on your calendar and fit everything else in around them. Re-evaluate your activities, progress and use of time daily. Determine what is essential to achieve your goal and shed the rest!
3. Plan the Route
Create a plan. Plan your route carefully. Step away from your daily activities to carve out “think time” if you need to. Build in a clear leadership plan and determine who owns every task. Be meticulous. Specify activities, milestones and reserve time to reassess progress at every base camp. “Measure the mountain” you are climbing to make sure your resource planning is sufficient and then track your progress!
4. Guide Your Team to Success
Take the lead. Communicate the vision and plan. Anticipate challenges, obstacles, injuries and setbacks – they’re going to come. Don’t let the setbacks become discouraging. Show your team how to push past their perceived boundaries. Take the lead to guide your customers and your team to success. Pull out the map often and adjust your path if needed!
5. Build the Right Team
Choose the right sherpas (your team members who will carry the heaviest part of the load); they will determine life or death, success or failure. Use your team carefully. Allow your team members to do what they do best. Demonstrate appreciation to everyone helping to carry the load. Communicate often that team performance always outperforms individual performance – anticipate reaching the summit together!
6. Execute the Route
Execution trumps strategy – execution is everything. Know Who, What, When, Where and How. Practice, train and rehearse where necessary to avoid costly errors in execution. Determine the critical path; and, focus on key milestones to achieve short-term wins on the path to long-term results. Focus on the customer at all times – they are guideposts along the way and will give you feedback that confirms you are on the right path!
7. Stand on Top!
When the challenges, obstacles, injuries and setbacks come, get back up. Never accept “No” as permanent. “No” really only means, “Not yet.” Go back and go back and go back again. Get comfortable with persistence. Remember every day that the pain won’t last; but, the payoff from achievement will. Surround yourself with people who won’t let you quit; then, stand on the summit together!
Susan Ershler’s success strategy is timeless and simple – but execution is never easy.
Susan Ershler provides powerful inspiration and practical examples of how to execute with the right mindset in her newly released book, Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales: From Everest to Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance.
Mark Galvan is the Talent Acquisition Practice Lead, Chief Innovator and Founder of P4S Consulting which is globally headquartered in Dallas, Texas USA.
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